Nandina domestica and Plectranthus Ciliatus


Shady corners are common challenges in many suburban gardens.  These can be caused by mature trees and shrubs, or by buildings and structures.  Finding plants to grow in these conditions is not always easy.

Nandina domestica, commonly known as heavenly bamboo, or Japanese sacred bamboo, is a tough and reliable shrub for these areas.  They form clumps of slender stems up to 2m tall, topped with large, lacy leaves.  New growth in spring is reddish, turning green in summer.  In colder climates, the foliage turns red in winter.  In warmer areas, it remains evergreen.  In colder parts, it is semi-deciduous.  Nandinas lend height, especially in narrow or restricted areas, without getting wide and ungainly.  They are relatively bare at the base of the clumps and need a groundcover as an underplanting.

Plectranthus ciliatus fulfils this role perfectly.  Lush, dark green leaves all year round with spikes of small white flowers in autumn.  Their spreading habit covers rapidly.  Prune back if the growth becomes too rampant.  They will tolerate light frost only.  They are a good indigenous groundcover for shade or brighter sunshine conditions.